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Koni is one of the best known and most respected brands in the automotive world, and they have a long and interesting history. The company was founded in 1857 by A. de Koning in the small town of Oud-Beijerland Netherlands, as a manufacturer of leather equipment for horses. By 1928, Koni was producing the first friction-type dampers for automotive uses. In 1945, Koni invented and tested the first tubular type shock absorbers in the world for road use, a product which they are still world famous for today.

Shock absorbers, or dampers as they are widely known, are such an important part of the driving experience – whatever terrain you ride on. There are two basic types in use: hydraulic (containing oil) and pneumatic (containing gas or gas and oil). In the modern automotive world, both products have their place in the market and the different types are suited to varying applications.

Koni have been at the top of their game for decades. Their successes in motorsport are far too extensive to list here, with numerous Grand Prix wins, rally victories and a history of being a problem solver for race teams, commercial users and everyday drivers. Shock absorbers exist to “damp” the movement of springs, improving stability, safety and passenger comfort; there are various videos on YouTube showing what happens if you remove the dampers and drive your car and it’s neither fun nor safe journeys of any length! So, if it is vital to have shock absorbers on your 4WD or car, then it makes sense to have high quality shocks which are suited to the vehicle’s build and its uses.

Koni dampers

Perhaps the most famous and certainly the most robust Koni product family in the 4×4 world is the RAID range of dampers. We can divide this range into two groups: RAID (generally 75mm in diameter) and Heavy Track (generally 50mm in diameter). In either case, we are looking at a conventional twin tube damper (with a few exceptions), fully hydraulic and off-car ride adjustable. Both types are seriously durable and are intended for punishing off-road conditions but also for on-road control, road holding and comfort. Of the two, Heavy Track is the more common and the more extensive in terms of range – but the larger RAID damper is industry leading in its durability and is intended for competition, military, trucks and buses, even railway use.

Whilst Koni have several other successful ranges of damper, in the 4WD and off-road markets there is one other product family aside from RAID which we have a significant interest in: SPECIAL. Like the RAID range, Koni Special is also divided into two product ranges – Special and Active. The products in this family tend to have applications for vans and other commercials such as Mercedes Sprinter, VW Transporter and other similar vehicles. Primarily, the difference between Special and Active is that Special is user-adjustable whereas Active is self-adjusting thanks to a resonator which is located inside the damper body.

Popular Koni applications include Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi and Nissan models and some Jeep models.

4×4 Works are proud to be the largest Koni retailer in the UK 4×4 market. We have a wealth of experience with the brand and have supplied dampers for everything from weekend green laning to highway use to race and rally.

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